PHARMACY

Abbott presents home-improvement tool for RA patients

BY Allison Cerra

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. To recognize National Arthritis Awareness Month, Abbott is highlighting a resource that seeks to help people living with rheumatoid arthritis.

RA.com, which features interactive tools to aid rheumatoid arthritis patients, includes a special home-improvement section especially for people living with the condition. The RA Home Makeover tool gives people home makeover tips to help make living with RA — a lifelong disease that causes pain and swelling of joints — easier, Abbott said. The tool showcases adjustments around the home in areas like the bedroom, kitchen, garage and more. Some tips suggest adding assistive devices, while others are simple ways to modify daily routines in order to avoid unnecessary joint stress.

“A comfortable home environment is important for patients managing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis,” said Martin Bergman, M.D., clinical assistant professor of medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine. “The makeover ideas on RA.com are simple for do-it-yourselfers and  generally can be very helpful for people who want to adapt their  home to better accommodate their RA.”

In addition to the RA Home Makeover tool, RA.com features other informative tips to help people learn more about rheumatoid arthritis, including a video depicting one woman’s story about  living with RA. Web site offerings also include a section on the  importance of seeing a rheumatologist, educational information about RA and links to patient advocacy organizations.

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Pfizer acquires rights to terguride

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Pfizer will acquire worldwide rights to a drug for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension, the drug maker said Wednesday.

Pfizer announced it would acquire terguride, an investigational drug, from Germany-based Ergonex Pharma. Under the agreement, Pfizer will support completion of phase 2 clinical trials of the drug and have exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize the drug, except in Japan. Ergonex will receive milestone and royalty payments.

“Pfizer’s unique business unit structure positions us to advance a broad portfolio of innovative research programs designed to lead to a diversity of products, including highly specialized ones in disease areas like PAH,” Pfizer specialty care business unit president Geno Germano said. “In the case of terguride, we are pleased that we can support its continued development given our commitment to advancing science in PAH and to bring new, potentially disease-modifying treatments to patients.”

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USP recommends prescription labeling be standardized

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. An advisory panel of the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention has recommended standardizing prescription labeling so patients can more easily understand the instructions, USP said.

USP, a nonprofit organization that sets standards for the identity, strength, quality and purity of medicines in the United States, cited Institute of Medicine statistics indicating that limited health literacy affects 90 million adults, thus reducing their ability to benefit from the healthcare system.

“Patients have the right to understand health information that is necessary to safely care for themselves and their families,” USP Health Literacy Prescription Container Labeling Advisory Panel co-chairwoman Joanne Schwartzberg said. “Confusing medication labels is one area that can be improved considerably. As most of us who have ever received a prescription drug know, the contact and appearance of medication labels can vary widely.”

Recommendations included simplifying language on labels by eliminating unfamiliar terms and unclear medical jargon, using explicit language to describe dosing and interval instructions and improving readability by using clearer fonts.

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